Tolkien vs. the Beatles

Imagine:

Once upon a time, the Fab Four—having slain the pop charts—decided to set their sights on the Dark Lord Sauron by making a Lord of the Rings feature, starring themselves. One man dared stand in their way: J.R.R. Tolkien.

According to Peter Jackson, who knows a little something about making Lord of the Rings movies, John Lennon was the Beatle most keen on LOTR back in the ’60s—and he wanted to play Gollum, while Paul McCartney would play Frodo, Ringo Starr would take on Sam and George Harrison would beard it up for Gandalf. And he approached a pre-2001 Stanley Kubrick to direct.”It was something John was driving, and J.R.R. Tolkien still had the film rights at that stage, but he didn’t like the idea of the Beatles doing it. So he killed it,” Jackson said.

via Little-known sci-fi facts: Tolkien killed a Beatles LOTR movie | Blastr.

HT: Joe Carter

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • kerner

    The beatles probably would have produced a movie along the lines of Yellow Submarine; a drug induced fantasy. Tolkien would have hated that.

  • kerner

    The beatles probably would have produced a movie along the lines of Yellow Submarine; a drug induced fantasy. Tolkien would have hated that.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    But “imagine” what a cult classic it would be by now!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    But “imagine” what a cult classic it would be by now!

  • WebMonk

    I’m with Bryan – I am pretty sure the picture would have been absolutely atrocious, but what an incredible level of atrocious it would have been! Instant cult classic.

  • WebMonk

    I’m with Bryan – I am pretty sure the picture would have been absolutely atrocious, but what an incredible level of atrocious it would have been! Instant cult classic.

  • CRB

    Thank God that they didn’t get anywhere with it, because it
    would have bore no resemblance to Tolkien’s intent.

  • CRB

    Thank God that they didn’t get anywhere with it, because it
    would have bore no resemblance to Tolkien’s intent.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I found some of the Beatles’ lyrics for songs they were preparing for the soundtrack, and they’re pretty awful:

    From “A Day in the Life of Sauron”:
    I read a tale today, oh boy
    The free peoples’ army had just won the war
    And though the dwarves were rather small
    Now we know how many orcs it takes to fill the Golden Hall
    I’d love to rule them all

    I’m not even going to quote from the execrable “Pelennor Fields Forever”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I found some of the Beatles’ lyrics for songs they were preparing for the soundtrack, and they’re pretty awful:

    From “A Day in the Life of Sauron”:
    I read a tale today, oh boy
    The free peoples’ army had just won the war
    And though the dwarves were rather small
    Now we know how many orcs it takes to fill the Golden Hall
    I’d love to rule them all

    I’m not even going to quote from the execrable “Pelennor Fields Forever”.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    “I am the eggman, I am the eggman, I am the Gollum” (?)

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    “I am the eggman, I am the eggman, I am the Gollum” (?)

  • WebMonk

    Wow! Just … wow! I’m beginning to wish it had gone ahead.

    There is a scale of awful to awesome. As you move toward the awful side of the scale you get things like “horrendous”, then “mind-rendingly terrible”, then “the walls begin to cry”, and finally “the concentrated awfulness begins to spontaneously produce Yugos out of thin air”.

    However, there is a realm beyond even that level of awfulness. It is that weird realm where eldritch abominations swirl through the air and unspeakable things bring instant insanity to anything which may find its way to that place.

    For those few things which reach this plane of awfulness, reality bends in upon itself and one finds themselves coming out on the opposite side of the scale, getting plonked (with a splash into a pool of green goo) smack dab in the middle of the “cult classic” area of the awesomeness side of the scale.

    The universe was unable to stand the nigh-infinite level of awfulness and so for purposes of self-preservation mutated the offending object into a parody of itself, bending the terrible and destructive energies of the thing against itself and thus saving the universe from being annihilated by the unrestrained abomination.

    Thus would have been the fate of the Beatles version of Lord of the Rings.

  • WebMonk

    Wow! Just … wow! I’m beginning to wish it had gone ahead.

    There is a scale of awful to awesome. As you move toward the awful side of the scale you get things like “horrendous”, then “mind-rendingly terrible”, then “the walls begin to cry”, and finally “the concentrated awfulness begins to spontaneously produce Yugos out of thin air”.

    However, there is a realm beyond even that level of awfulness. It is that weird realm where eldritch abominations swirl through the air and unspeakable things bring instant insanity to anything which may find its way to that place.

    For those few things which reach this plane of awfulness, reality bends in upon itself and one finds themselves coming out on the opposite side of the scale, getting plonked (with a splash into a pool of green goo) smack dab in the middle of the “cult classic” area of the awesomeness side of the scale.

    The universe was unable to stand the nigh-infinite level of awfulness and so for purposes of self-preservation mutated the offending object into a parody of itself, bending the terrible and destructive energies of the thing against itself and thus saving the universe from being annihilated by the unrestrained abomination.

    Thus would have been the fate of the Beatles version of Lord of the Rings.


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